As I mentioned earlier in my ginger molasses cake report, I made pumpkin ice cream to accompany it. Picture of the ice cream on its own is below. Given its unique flavor, it's probably best as the star dessert and not in the shadow of something else.
Overall, I loved the vivid pumpkin spice flavor and creamy texture on the same day it was made; however, the texture declined rapidly thereafter. It became very chalky (a characteristic that really turns me off!) and the pumpkin flavor dulled, so I would only make what I could eat in a day or two next time.
I didn't do too much research beforehand, and used a recipe I found on chardgirl's farm website (see link) that I modified. Thanks for the inspiration, chardgirl! Here's how things evolved:
Whisked together 1 15 oz. can of TJ's organic pumpkin puree, 1 c. heavy cream, and 1 c. half and half. Added 1/2 c. TJ's grade B maple syrup and little cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger to taste. Added pinch salt. At this point, flavor was good but it looked too runny and I was worried about not having any eggs, so I whisked in one whole egg. Placed on low heat til it reached about 170F. Tasted again and the heat had intensified the pumpkin and spice flavor, so I added about 1/2 c. of half and half and about 1/4 c. of superfine sugar. Cooled, placed in fridge to chill, and churned about 4 hrs. later.
I was busy cooking dinner for guests so let it run a bit longer than I normally would. Total churn time was around 20-25 min. It was beyond soft serve consistency and could have been eaten on the spot. Was very, very smooth and tasty. Chilled in freezer for a few hours before eating. Texture and flavor were still great. Some of us liked it alot while others were "eh". You have to like pumpkin to like this ice cream, obviously.
I thought the canned pumpkin puree worked well b/c it was so smooth and not too runny. Fresh would just complicate things, but I may try this w/ kabocha squash. Thought the maple syrup was great!
Next time, I would use a few egg yolks (no white) and do my usual method of creaming w/ sugar and then cooking w/ dairy on stovetop to thicken. Pumpkin just begs for egg yolks. Will also add a little vanilla extract. For the dense, gelato like texture that I seek, I think it's important to chill overnight and limit churning time to no more than 10 min. in my machine.
Guess I'll make some pumpkin milkshakes w/ the rest of the ice cream...